ALL CREDIT: Patel Patriot
If you haven’t read the first eight parts of the Devolution series, please do so now here:
Devolution - Part 1 - by Patel Patriot
Devolution - Part 2 - by Patel Patriot
Devolution - Part 3 - by Patel Patriot
Devolution - Part 4 - by Patel Patriot
Devolution - Part 5 - by Patel Patriot
Devolution - Part 6 - by Patel Patriot
Devolution - Part 7 - by Patel Patriot
Devolution - Part 8 - by Patel Patriot
Devolution - Part 9 - by Patel Patriot
Devolution - Part 10 - by Patel Patriot
Devolution - Part 11 - by Patel Patriot
Devolution - Part 12 - by Patel Patriot
My original plan for Devolution - Part 13 was an article to serve as a continuation of Devolution - Part 12. I am still working on piecing together the aspects of that article but I felt it was necessary to put that work on hold and put forth this article instead.
This article will outline one of Trump’s key executive orders that I truly believe spells out that we are no doubt in the middle of some sort of Continuity of Government plan that I believe to be a plan of devolution. I briefly touched on this executive order in Devolution - Part 3, but it deserves its own article and detailed breakdown.
I’ve said many times throughout my series that we need to start thinking bigger. I always thought I was thinking bigger but researching for this article led me to the realization I was wrong. I’ve spent a majority of my series focused on the Department of Defense and the military, and they still are very important to what is unfolding, but devolution is much bigger than just the DoD and the military. Just how much bigger?
Let’s find out.
The Executive Order
Governance and Integration of Federal Mission Resilience
On December 7th, 2020, Donald Trump signed Executive Order 13961: Governance and Integration of Federal Mission Resilience (FMR EO). This Executive Order was released simultaneously with the Federal Mission Resilience Strategy 2020 (Strategy). I believe that by the end of this article, you will see that between the FMR EO and the Strategy, the entire framework for devolution has been sitting in the federal register for everybody to see since December 7th, 2020.
Allow me to prove it to you:
This executive order begins by telling us under what authority Trump has issued it. In addition to the Constitution and laws of the United States, the National Security Act of 1947 is mentioned specifically. The National Security Act of 1947 is found in Chapter 44 of United States Code, Title 50 - War and National Defense.
In the very first paragraph, we are made aware of the context that this EO is being issued in. Throughout the entire FMR EO, the phrase “natural disaster” is never mentioned, yet the context of “War and National Defense” is immediately clarified. This is very important. The entire basis for this EO is discussing continuity of government during war and you will see more proof of this as we continue.
Presidential Policy Directive-40 (PPD-40) is a classified directive that was issued by Barack Obama. Here is some further background:
PPD-40 itself is still classified. As such, we have no way of figuring out the full specifics within that document, but we are still able to learn a few important things about it from documents put forth by FEMA through Federal Continuity Directive 1 & Federal Continuity Directive 2. Both were created based on what is in PPD-40.
Federal Continuity Directive 1 (FCD-1) - Establishes the framework, requirements, and processes to support the development of executive department and agencies continuity programs by specifying and defining elements of a continuity plan.
Federal Continuity Directive 2 (FCD-2) - This directive implements the requirements of FCD-1 and provides direction and guidance to all departments and agencies.
The Federal Continuity Directive create the framework for implementation for all continuity programs for the executive branch. FCD-1 even has an entire annex dedicated to Devolution:
The above annex tells us that the focus of any continuity of government operation is to sustain the performance of National Essential Functions. The FCDs also define and list exactly what those National Essential Functions are:
So, let’s breakdown what’s already been established just by the end of the very first section of the FMR EO:
On December 7th, 2020, Trump issued the FMR EO using Presidential powers based in the context of War & National Defense
The Section 1 of the FMR EO explains that it is the policy of the United States to perform the NEFs as defined by PPD-40, in a continuity environment, regardless of threat or condition.
The Federal Continuity Directives gave us those NEFs
Back to the executive order:
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, Trump released this Executive Order in conjunction with the Federal Mission Resilience Strategy (Strategy). I will cover the Strategy in detail in the second part of this article but the whole purpose of the Executive Order and the Strategy is to “increase the resilience of the executive branch.” To “ensure the continuity of operations, continuity of government, and enduring constitutional government.”
This section indicates a clear goal of moving from a reactive posture to a proactive posture when it comes to continuity of government and maintaining the NEFs. What I find most interesting here is what’s required to make such a transition. In order to shift into a proactive posture, you must specifically know, or at least strongly suspect, exactly what might be coming to cause a disruption.
I was a baseball player so forgive me for this imperfect metaphor. Hitting a baseball is not easy, especially if the pitcher has multiple different pitches to choose from (fastball, curveball, slider, etc.) If you don’t know what type of pitch is coming your way as a hitter, you are in a reactive posture. You’re left guessing. However, if you know your pitchers well enough, you can anticipate exactly which balls might be thrown your way, allowing you to hit way more home-runs.
The FMR EO and the Strategy consistently mention trying to get to a proactive posture regarding continuity. To me, that means they already have a pretty clear idea of what “pitch” is coming their way. Trump and those planning the devolution operation knew that the political establishment was going to follow through with stealing the election and as we get further along, you’ll see that the FMR EO and Strategy was Trump’s direct response.
Federal Mission Resilience Executive Committee
Section 3 of the FMR EO established an Executive Committee:
Let’s look at who each member of the Executive Committee would have been at the time of this executive order. This Executive Committee will be implementing the Strategy with a goal of ensuring “the continuity of operations, continuity of government, and enduring constitutional government.” These are the brains behind devolution, and consist of some very important names.
Members of the Executive Committee
Secretary of Defense: Christopher Miller
Secretary of Homeland Security: Chad Wolf
Director of National Intelligence: John Ratcliffe
Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (APNSA) - Also known as National Security
Advisor: Robert O’Brien
Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations: Tony Ornato
Director of the Office of Management and Budget: Russell Vought
Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy: Kevin Droegemeir - Kevin would only attend when issues concerning science and technology, including communications technology are on the agenda. I’m including him here because he plays a major role in the execution of the FMR EO and therefore plays a major role in devolution. We’ll go over that in detail later on.
Executive Committee Responsibilities
Here we get to see what the FMR Executive Committee will actually be doing and it’s very important to understand this.
This means that the FMR Executive Committee would be the group responsible for not only developing a plan of continuity but also facilitating the execution of that plan of continuity. It allows the Executive Committee to establish subordinate groups responsible for operating and implementing that continuity plan in support of the FMR Executive Committee. Finally, it allows them the flexibility to create their own “interagency framework” to assess and essentially re-prioritize the NEFs based on the continuity environment. We’ll discuss this in detail later.
This section is important because not only does it outline how the continuity plan would be implemented but it also gives us a look at an under-the-radar yet key player in the devolution process. That key player is Mark Meadows. Meadows may not be on the Executive Committee, but he clearly plays an important role in facilitating and implementing the FMR EO and Strategy.
If you go back and watch Donald Trump’s final speech before “leaving” the Presidency from Joint Base Andrews on Jan 20th, 2021, you’ll notice that Meadows was the only member of the FMR Executive Committee to see him off on January 20th. Read the transcript of his speech and you’ll see Meadows is actually the only member of Trump’s entire cabinet that was publicly acknowledged. I think that is significant because this Executive Order has established Meadows as the back channel to President Donald Trump.
Knowing that makes this story from early August much more intriguing:
Let’s briefly review what we just went over to make sure we understand the importance of what we have covered so far. This Executive Order stemming from Trump’s war powers is outlining the implementation and execution of a continuity plan. It describes to us the Executive Committee who is responsible for implementing and executing that plan. It also tells us there are subordinate bodies and working groups involved in supporting the Executive Committee and their work in implementing and executing that plan. It also tells us exactly who would serve as the back-channel to the President for this plan.
Let’s continue with the EO:
So the APNSA (AKA National Security Advisor), which would be Robert O’Brien, is designated as the new National Continuity Coordinator (NCC) which would make sense since he is the Chair of the FMR Executive Committee and that Committee is responsible for implementing and executing a continuity plan. But it also states it could be “his or her designee.” As crazy as this sounds, literally anybody could be the NCC. Whether the NCC is Robert O’Brien or somebody he designated, it’s becoming clear O’Brien plays a major role in devolution and Trump’s battle against the political establishment.
Here is an article from NPR from January of 2020:
Then there is this RedState article from Feb of 2020.
Remember this from Devolution - Part 1?
Interesting, isn’t it? At around the same time as the military was preparing plans for continuity of government, Trump and the head of the NSC were in the process of “streamlining the team” at the NSC by removing those that NPR had mockingly characterized as “the deep state.” Gaslight much?
In order for devolution to work effectively, having the right people in place is a necessity as is making every effort to minimize the chance of any leaks or resistance as the plan is set in motion. There were clearly necessary steps being taken to remove known leakers and those likely to interfere. We will touch on the NSC again later on because they actually played an important role in the creation of the FMR Executive Order and the Strategy.
Let’s do another recap quick:
On December 7th, 2020, Trump issued the FMR EO using his Presidential powers based in the context of War & National Defense.
The FMR EO explains that it is the policy of the United States to perform the NEFs as defined by PPD-40, in a continuity environment, regardless of threat or condition.
The Federal Continuity Directives gave us those NEFs.
The FMR EO explains the switch from a reactive posture to a proactive posture when it comes to continuity planning, making it seem like they may have know what was coming.
The FMR EO established an Executive Committee to implement and execute a continuity plan.
The FMR EO has detailed the roles of the Executive Committee and established that the Executive Committee could establish subordinate bodies and working groups to support their work in implementing and executing the continuity plan.
The FMR EO detailed the back channel to the President: Mark Meadows.
The FMR EO showed us who the new NCC is: Robert O’Brien.
Now let’s discuss an one of the most important aspects of any top-secret plan Secure communications?
This is where things start to get even more interesting.
So the FMR Executive Order is amending sections of Executive Order 13618 which was issued by Obama. In order to understand the significance of these amendments, we need to fully understand what Executive Order 13618 entails so we know what is actually being amended. Here is a fantastic summary of EO 13618 from the Congressional Research Service: